The MUA has called a four-day strike for Qube Ports’ workers in Melbourne and Geelong from today after demanding unsustainable pay rises and failing to negotiate a new Enterprise Agreement with Qube Ports for more than two years.
Shipping Australia supports Qube Ports’ decision not to give in to the MUA’s unreasonable demands and have finally applied to have the old EBA set aside and return to the Award. Our members label this second strike in three weeks as an unreasonable and a disproportionate response to Qube Ports’ decision.
“There has to be a limit to the cost of stevedoring in Australia and the fact that the workers stand to lose up to 59 per cent of their pay if the existing EBA is cancelled and they revert to the Award conditions indicates that they are already on a good wicket”, Shipping Australia CEO, Rod Nairn said.
This strike will disrupt general stevedoring and up to five roll-on/roll-off ships and ultimately increase the costs of imported vehicles and goods for all Australians. Some ships will divert to other ports to avoid the disruption, which will further damage the Victorian economy.
“This looks like another muscle-flexing power-play by the union’s bosses, emboldened by their merger with the CFMEU, in a desperate attempt to cover up their own failure to negotiate.”
Qube has offered a 10 per cent pay increase over four years but this has been rejected.
“I know that a lot of the workers want to get on with the job, but the union is holding out for a reinstatement of restrictive rosters and more time off. These are outdated concepts and just can’t work in an industry with a sporadic work demand.
“The MUA executive don’t seem concerned that their own members and their families are likely to be the biggest losers, they are just pawns in the union bosses’ power-play”, Rod Nairn concluded.